Miner or Staker? Nah. Miner AND Staker!

Johnny Lyu
Jul 26, 2019 · 4 min read

Shxt happens.

I am not referring to Facebook’s hearing over Libra, which doesn’t seem to be going so well. Neither am I referring to the plunge of Bitcoin’s price and market-cap over the past weeks, the former was once down to $9,100 from $13,000, while the latter just shrank by over $50 billion.

Come on, of course I am referring to such news!

But I am not so worried about it, not on a long-term horizon. If there’s a mess, we will clear it up and restart.

Plus, although my faith never falters, positiveness just keeps strengthening it.

Last night, I was hanging out with a bunch of college friends, one of whom is an artist. This guy paints, plays piano and a few other instruments, meditates, dates a girl researching Buddhism, and occasionally tries special herbs.

My artist friend is now talking about blockchain and cryptocurrencies with me. This was not some small talk or something like “lemme give you some money and you make crypto investments for me”. We had very serious discussions over DeFi, Staking and related projects.

One of the projects that he has been studying recently, and happens to be on my radar as well, is QuarkChain.

His reason, which is pretty arbitrary, is that QuarkChain founder Qi Zhou used to be a Facebook software engineer, while mine is slightly more profound — it might be able to offer compatibility to Libra.

Not just for Libra, as a matter of fact. Being an infrastructure solution provider, QuarkChain is designed to be compatible with most blockchains.

The secret is sharding, but not just sharding alone.

Many know about The Impossible Trinity of public chain, that it’s hard to achieve perfect scalability, security and decentralization simultaneously. And that’s when derivative solutions like sharding came up.

Telling by its name, the logic of sharding technology is to break large tasks into smaller pieces, so that computing tasks will be processed in hundreds or even thousands parallel threads, greatly helping to address the bandwidth limitation.

The top priority of sharding is to boost scalability, unquestionably. But what if there are premiums?

QuarkChain’s specialty is in state sharding, a less dogmatic, more agile architecture of sharding. With that, shards could be composed by whichever dimension is required — consensus mechanism, trading module, ledger module and tokenomics.

This agility is able to breach the ramparts between chains. There’s no wonder why it claims to offer compatibility with various chains.

Its elasticity is not only embodied in the sharding structure, but also reflected in its capability to swiftly catch up with the trends, most recently DeFi, inter-blockchain and staking.

Wait a minute, is it a travel adaptor or something? There’s no way it can be this multifunctional, it just can’t.

Well, theoretically, it can, thanks to its dual-layer structure.

The first layer comprises all the shards, the major function of which is bookkeeping. Just take it as a sub-chain if it helps understanding. The second layer is a root chain doing nothing else but validation.

That said, without burdening the root chain (or the main chain), the first layer is adjustable in terms of the number of shards, as well as the features — it could be bespoke!

In addition, QuarkChain has invented a consensus called Proof of Staked Work (PoSW), which combines the most typical features of PoS and PoW — staking and mining.

Specifically, staked miners enjoy better mining efficiency than non-staked miners.

That said, malicious nodes won’t be able to launch attacks unless they buy QKC at a large scale. This move would further boost the coin price and cost the attacker extra money, which would ultimately contribute to the stability of the QuarkChain network.

Speaking of attacks, have I forgotten to mention its Boson consensus algorithm?

With this algorithm, the computing power on the root chain always stands beyond 51%. Plus, all the validations take place on the root chain. Therefore, even if the malicious nodes want to take indirect approaches via shards, they won’t be able to break through the 51% computing power defense on the root chain.

Now we see scalability and security, you might wonder where is the decentralization?

To hedge against the risk of super nodes taking control of the network and arousing concerns over centralization, it allows group nodes that loop in multiple small-scale nodes, properly balancing decentralization and efficiency that secure the safety of the whole system.

So, who says no staking for PoW? Oops.

Max Liu and Jeffery Zhang have made significant contribution to this article.


KuCoin aims at providing users digital asset transaction and exchange services which are even more safe and convenient, integrating premium assets worldwide, and constructing state of the art transaction platform.

Johnny Lyu

Written by

KuCoin Co-founder & VP, doubles the partner of KuCoin’s investment affiliate Phoenix Global Capital, blockchain frontrunner, investor and advisor.


KuCoin aims at providing users digital asset transaction and exchange services which are even more safe and convenient, integrating premium assets worldwide, and constructing state of the art transaction platform.

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